Odious Debts

Steering clear of Chavez

Nancy Soderberg, The Washington Times
March 8, 2007

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is behind a growing Latin American economic challenge to the United States, foreign investors and multinational companies, claims a recent analysis of the president’s influence in the region.

According to Nancy Soderberg, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and co-chair of the American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), President Chavez is encouraging new leaders in Latin America to repudiate debt obligations, buck foreign contracts, nationalize foreign assets and “side with Mr. Chavez and his brand of fiery anti-American populism-cum-socialism over responsible commercial relationships.”

“Mr. Chavez has paved the way, expropriating assets and renegotiating foreign energy concessions. At the same time, he has used Venezuela’s coffers to curry favor with other leaders in the region.

From providing substantial energy concessions to Cuba to financing joint ‘Bonds of the South’ with Argentina to reduce the regional influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuela has been aggressive in buying friends,” writes Soderberg.

http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20070307-091632-9380r.htm [PDFver here]

Categories: Odious Debts

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